Once you meet Kevin Gillespie, it’s not hard to see why he took home the title of Top Chef fan favorite. He may have two acclaimed restaurants under his belt—Gunshow in Atlanta and Revival in Decatur—but he’s also the kind of charming, down-home guy you’d like to have a drink with. And, true to his southern roots, he always has a good story to tell.

Upon graduating from high school, Gillespie was accepted to MIT, where he had hoped to study nuclear engineering. His lifelong passion for cooking, however, led him instead to the Art Institute of Atlanta, and eventually, to top restaurants in Georgia and Oregon. In 2013, he opened the doors to Gunshow, his dim-sum-inspired take on Southern cuisine, which topped topped best-of lists at Bon Appetit, Esquire, and GQ. In 2015, Gillespie followed his debut with Revival in Decatur, Georgia, a fresh take on the family-style dinner with a focus on farm-raised, artisan-prepared ingredients.

The author of two acclaimed cookbooks, including James Beard Award-winning Fire in My Belly, Gillespie was also named a 2015 semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Southeast award, and semi-finalist for the Rising Star Chef of the Year award for three consecutive years. In 2011, he was nominated for Food & Wine’s People’s Best New Chef award as well as named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30. As a rising star bringing more than just good food to the table, Gillespie was named one of Mother Nature Network’s “40 Chefs Under 40” in November 2009 for promoting better health for people and the planet.

He is a member of Slow Food Atlanta, Southern Foodways Alliance, Community Farmers Markets Chefs Advisory Board, Georgia Organics and the Society for the Preservation of Traditional Southern Barbecue.

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